Well, that pretty much says everything, doesn’t it?
(Photo by Tishka Miller, from Facebook, here.)
Excuse me while I go do some painful things to the programmers because I Am Not Amused.
Oh, wait. It gets worse.
This is from the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Here’s how they describe “Science with a Sparkle”:
Science With a Sparkle
1 – 4 pm
Ages – 8-12
Prepare to be dazzled! Dive into chemistry and learn how science relates to health and beauty products. Become a cosmetic chemist and concoct your own creations to take home.
Also, it’s described as:
No Boys Allowed! – Girls Only Workshops
Because God forbid that boys learn how to do something so icky, right?
The Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Webelos programs are not designated “boys only”—but the people who set up the programs consistently describe the participants as being boys, cub scouts, etc. There is no indication that a girl would be welcome to join in.
If you are as bugged by this artificial gender role reinforcement as I am (which seems to be about what people believe that boys and girls should be interested in), have some more links:
The Senior Staff Directory
Staff Directory (this is all phone numbers for different departments, not contacts for individual people)
Contact the Carnegie Science Center Online
I was given some incredible experiences in my time with Boy Scouts; I value that time a lot, it gave me access to many opportunities and honestly is still empowering me today (Eagle Scout is a recognizable and, by many employers, highly respected award to list on a résumé). My troop was, luckily, also fairly inclusive (relative to the national council, particularly; we had a few openly-gay troop members, and this was years before the ruling allowing such members). It bugged me at the time that girls in my peer group had disappointing-at-best opportunities that lacked any sort of parity with my own. Girl Scouts is a pretty cool organization in its own ways (and honestly, from what I’ve seen, a *significantly* cooler institution at the national level), but the content of the experiences does very much stem from those gendered expectations.
Looking back through the lens of how much I valued my own experiences, it actually really pisses me off that people don’t have the same/similar opportunities, just because of… well, *any* of the reasons people are denied such entry. Venture Scouts is a very, very cool program itself, but none of the other scouting organizations have the clout or resources that the BSA puts towards their primary program. I don’t think most people regard the Gold Award with the same prestige as the Eagle rank (forgive me if that’s the wrong equivalency; I myself don’t actually know the GS ranks that well), which, like… just, ugh. I don’t even know how to express myself, it’s just fuckin’ frustrating.